Unity in Diversity Speaker Bios

Meet some of the speakers from this year’s two-day Unity in Diversity event

Dr. Brandi Baldock

Dr. Brandi Baldock was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, where her life revolved around strategic video games, competitive sports, and technical theater. During high school and for two years after graduation, she lifeguarded and taught swimming lessons and aquatic leadership courses to save money for her post-secondary education. She was the first person in her extended family to attend a 4-year college program (Trent University), where she surprised herself by falling in love with chemistry, having hated the subject in high school. When completing her senior research project with an enthusiastic and supportive advisor, she realized she wanted to earn her Ph D so that she could teach others to love chemistry and lead her own scientific investigations. Her graduate studies at University of Oregon allowed her to pursue her key passions- teaching, scientific research and promoting the involvement of women in STEM disciplines. She continues this work today as a tenure-track faculty member in Merrimack College’s Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Dr. April Bowling

Dr. April Bowling is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health and Nutrition in the School of Health Sciences at Merrimack College, and a core member of the Healthy Weight Research Network (Secondary Data Analysis Core, Dissemination Science Core). She completed a pre-doctoral fellowship in pediatric psychiatric and obesity epidemiology at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, and was previously a Visiting Scientist at Harvard School of Public Health, where she completed her doctorate research on the effects of exercise and nutrition on mental and physical health among youth with neurodevelopmental and affective disorders.

Glynis Boyd Hughes 

Glynis Boyd Hughes (she/her/hers) is a graduate student in Merrimack’s School of Education and Social Policy, pursuing a M.Ed in Leadership, Policy, and Organizational Development; she also serves as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fellow, assisting Dr. Simona Sharoni.
Glynis recently graduated cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in May 2020, in her hometown of Richmond,Virginia, with a B.A. in English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. This accomplishment was the culmination of her educational dream, starting in 1986 when, with GED in hand, Glynis enrolled at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, her two year old daughter in her arms. That daughter is now 36, with three sons of her own.
Glynis takes great pride in being an overcomer of challenges, from poverty to a learning disability, as she pursues her goal of serving students who embody the phrase: “talent is everywhere, opportunity is not.” She is an avid researcher, having worked with VCU’s Office of the President on several projects, as well as presenting nationally on the contributions of post-traditional students to college communities. Glynis’ passions include increasing educational equity and access, working with students with disabilities, and creative ways to support faculty and staff as a student affairs professional. Glynis’ lived experiences include working as a fish cleaner in a neighborhood market, a 20-year stint as a social worker with an urban agency, and creating and hosting a spoken word program at Richmond’s Black History Museum. All of her lived experiences, along with academics, community engagement, and empathy, are the foundation of her social justice philosophy: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Dr. Cherie Bridges Patrick

Cherie Bridges Patrick is a racial justice consultant, leadership coach, and psychotherapist who works with counseling professionals, educators, and organizational leaders. She integrates her trauma-focused expertise with her coaching, consulting, and facilitation practices. Her collaborative work centers dignity—inherent worth—and services rely heavily on adaptive and relational leadership theories. Cherie is passionate about helping groups and organizations build relational, resource, dialogic, and leadership capacity for racial justice. Her research on racism, racism denial, whiteness, and racial justice in social work frames her practice. Cherie’s multiracial and multiethnic clinical experiences include extensive work in community mental health and engaging with Somali immigrant families around the complexities of global displacement and resettlement. Cherie is the founder of Paradox Cross-Cultural Consulting, Training and Empowerment, LLC. She has also served as a university adjunct professor and holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change.

Catherine Chandler 

Catherine Chandler is Assistant Director of Student Success for Engagement, Training, and Technology in the Academic Success Center at Merrimack College. She earned her MEd in Higher Education from Merrimack in 2019 as well as an MA in art history and a BA from Wheaton College in Massachusetts. Before coming to Merrimack, Catherine worked for 13 years at the George Washington University, where she worked with faculty, staff, and students to establish the university’s first LGBT Resource Center and worked on a curriculum committee for an LGBT Studies minor. Catherine lives in Haverhill with her wife and high school sweetheart, Alexandra, and their two children.

Dr. Susan David

Dr. Susan David is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and an award-winning Harvard Medical School psychologist. Her new #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Emotional Agility based on the concept Harvard Business Review heralded as a Management Idea of the Year and winner of the Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award, describes the psychological skills critical to thriving in times of complexity and change. Susan’s TED Talk on the topic went viral with over 1 million views in its first week of release. She is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and guest on national radio and television. Named on the Thinkers50 global list of the top management thinkers, Susan is a sought-after keynote speaker and consultant, with clients that include the World Economic Forum, EY, United Nations, Google, Microsoft, NASDAQ, and many other national and multinational organizations. Her focus is on defining and executing effective strategy, especially in the areas of engagement, high-performance leadership, and culture change. Susan is the CEO of Evidence Based Psychology, on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, a Cofounder of the Institute of Coaching (a Harvard Medical School/McLean affiliate), and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Thrive Global and Virgin Pulse. Susan lives outside of Boston with her family.

Duane De Four

Duane de Four is an educator with more than twenty-five years of experience applying an intersectional lens to the development of curricula, strategic initiatives, and policies, as well as the facilitation of discussions focused on issues such as; bystander intervention, masculinity, consent, sexual health, anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Duane has done this work in a wide variety of settings, including; the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and NASCAR, all branches of the U.S. Military, colleges and universities across the United States, high schools, middle schools, corporations, non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the US and in Nairobi, Kenya, and youth detention centers. He has also provided expert witness testimony in legislative hearings and domestic violence related cases. Duane is currently working toward a PhD in Higher Education at UMass Boston, while teaching at Merrimack College, serving as a member of the MA Governor’s Council on SA/DV, and the board of directors at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC).

Melissa Denizard

A native of Haiti, Melissa Denizard (she/her/hers) is a 21-year old pro-Black organizer, activist, and documentarian. Along with providing a grounding for her political ideology and praxis, Black Feminism serves as a guiding light for Melissa’s perpetual self-reflection. Melissa uses several mediums—including public speaking, film, digital media, and the written word—to help innovate Gen Z’s approach to political theory and discourse, specifically in regards to how we address issues relating to race, gender, and social class within the united states’ political framework.

Dr. Justin Feldman

Justin Feldman is a social epidemiologist and a Health and Human Rights Fellow at the Harvard FXB Center for Health & Human Rights. Through his research, he looks at the ways in which racial and economic inequality lead to population differences in health and well-being. He has conducted research on police violence since 2014. His current work focuses on how a variety of institutions – law, corporations, forensics, and public health – work together to obscure state accountability for deaths in police custody.

Samantha (Sam) Frey

Samantha is a senior, triple majoring in Psychology, Social Justice, and Women’s & Gender Studies. She is a member of the Unity House Council, an intern in the Multicultural Initiatives Office, the President of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, and the Vice President of Gender Equality at Merrimack. As an Honors Program student, an FYE Mentor, and a student leader, Samantha aims to seek educational opportunities that will help her expand her knowledge and inform others on social justice topics.

Ruth Garby Torres

Ruth Garby Torres (Schaghticoke|U.S,) is an enrolled citizen of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation. At 16, she was elected to the tribal council and served as treasurer. Torres holds a Bachelor’s from Charter Oak State College and a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard. She was a teaching fellow at Harvard where she taught “Nation Building II: American Indians in the 21st Century.” Torres served as chair on Connecticut’s Native American Heritage Advisory Council, trustee for the Institute for American Indian Studies and was an advisory board member for Yale University’s Native American Cultural Center. She is a regular participant on the National Congress of American Indians Federal Acknowledgement Task Force and Elections Committee. Her chapter about the Schaghticoke experience with the federal acknowledgment process is included in the volume, Recognition, Sovereignty Struggles and Indigenous Rights in the United States (2013). Torres is also a contributor to Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England (2014). Torres was a Connecticut state trooper for 21 years and is presently employed by the City of West Haven where she works for the mayor. She also does consulting work for Rhode Island-based 3AM Writers and focuses on one client, the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team.

Dr. Julia Garcia

Doctor of psychology, TEDx speaker and diversity inclusion trainer, Dr.J breaks down difficult and divisive issues in a time where we can’t afford to stay silent. For the past 12 years, Dr. J has empowered over a half-million students across 100+ cities nationwide. She is the creator of a digital tool sparking courageous conversations around race and inequity online to amplify the Black experience, share lived experiences and explore racial bias.

Previously Dr.J built an award-winning mobile app to support her doctoral research for girls and young women, catching the attention of NPR and bringing awareness to social health in social media. She is a published author whose spoken word videos have garnered over 60,000+ views and her diverse background makes her one of the most critical and relevant voices of our generation. In today’s climate of mental health issues and racial division, Dr. J’s is unparalleled in her ability to create safe spaces for students to feel seen, heard and be truly connected.

Jasmine Garver

Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Jasmine Garver graduated from the M.Ed. Higher Education program at Merrimack in August 2019. She received her B.A. in psychology at Merrimack and an A.A. in psychology from Northern Essex Community College. Jasmine currently works here on campus in the Office of Admission as a Senior Admission Counselor. Looking ahead, Jasmine aspires to continue her education in the field of higher education.

Dr. Jonathan Grossman

Jonathan Grossman came out for the first time when he was in middle school because he didn’t have the language he needed to explain himself to himself before that time. When he is not absorbed in asking himself, “What IS gender, anyway?”, he identifies as a man and as bisexual. He finds his identity as a mathematician to be just as baffling to the people he meets as his queer identity can be. He has a BS, MA, and Ph.D. in mathematics has spent his adult life as a mathematics educator and devotes his free time to puzzles of all kinds, mathematical or otherwise.

Dr. Dan Herda

Dr. Dan Herda is Associate Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department at Merrimack College. He holds a PhD and an MA in Sociology from the University of California, Davis and a BA in Sociology and Political Science from St. Joseph’s College. Dr. Herda’s research interests include Race and Ethnic Relations, immigration, public opinion, crime, social psychology, and quantitative methods.

Julian K. Jarboe

Julian K. Jarboe is a writer and sound designer who lives in Massachusetts. They are the author of the collection Everyone on the Moon is Essential Personnel

Apu’u Kaaviana (Kanakanavu|Taiwan)

Apuu Kaaviana is one of the most prominent Taiwan Indigenous grassroots-organizers, leaders, and scholars on Indigenous cultural production as nation-building and Indigenous women’s knowledge production. She has a Master’s in Gender Studies, from National Kaohsiung Normal University.  She has been leading and working towards empowering Indigenous women in the communities for over two decades. After Typhoon Morakot hit in 2009, which nearly destroyed her community, she committed herself for the post-disaster recovery work in her tribal nation’s community, Namaxia, in the remote mountainous region of Kaohsiung. She has succeeded in resisting a mainstream, non-Indigenous intervention and promoting a model of sustainable development in the post-disaster recovery of Indigenous nations throughout Taiwan. Back in her homeland, she has undertaken sustainable land use ethics as cultural revival, empowered women of her community, encouraged collective care-work, and recovered a Kanakanavu concept/practice, Usu’uru女人的田地, tied to sustainable care of the land—this ancestral Kanakanavu women’s knowledge and way of life, which is nearly lost, is now regained and preserved.  Her vision is that through bringing about social change and improving the lives of her people, she safeguards and preserves the spirits of her culture for generations to come. 

Dr. Brian Klocke

Dr. Klocke has facilitated, alone and with others, dozens of workshops, trainings, keynote addresses, and panel presentations on issues of social justice (intervening against racism, sexism, heterosexism, & classism), for college students, teachers, activists, and community organizations. Klocke holds a Ph.D in Sociology and has taught race & ethnicity and gender studies courses at several public universities and private colleges, as well as advised the successful student organization, No More! whose mission was to work to end all forms of gendered violence on campus. Dr. Klocke was an invited contributor to the book Sociologists in Action on Inequalities: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality. HuffPost Live linked Dr. Klocke’s article Roles of Men with Feminism and Feminist Theory as informing its show on the same theme. The debating society at Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland, hosted him as a special guest speaker on the topic of men and feminism. Dr. Klocke has served on the national council of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism, the Colorado Progressive Coalition’s Multiracial Organizing Committee, and has been a Co-Coordinator of Ithaca Rape Crisis’ anti-rape education program for men as well as a Co-Editor of Policy Press’ Agenda for Social Justice series. He is currently a member of the national leadership collective of Faculty Against Rape and serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of the Boulder Housing Coalition, and works for the nonprofit Alternative Radio, which brings critical social, economic, and environmental justice perspectives to the airwaves that are often omitted from mainstream commercial media.

Dr. Robert Koch

Rob Koch (Dr. K) knew he was gay in 4th grade, said it out loud in 9th grade, and got outed in his senior year of high school. Because things got better, he completed a BS in Management, an MA in Literature, and a PhD in English Composition. He has presented on the rhetorical acrobatics of LGBT student writers, advised several LGBT student organizations, and has spoken on diversity and inclusion at several prior institutions. His life writing goal is to create and introduce the world to more gay literary protagonists.

Dr. Yi-Chun Tricia Lin

A 17th-generation daughter of Taiwan, Yi-Chun Tricia Lin (林怡君) is Director and Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies at Southern Connecticut State University. She is Past President of National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA), 2012-2014, and recipient of peace and justice awards from organizations like the Ingrid Washinawatok El-Issa O’Peqtaw Metaehmoh-Flying Eagle Woman Peace, Justice, and Sovereignty, West Haven, Black Coalition, and the Girl Scouts of Connecticut. In 2018, Lin was Senior Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor at the College of Indigenous Studies, at the National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan. Editor of the Lectora issue on transnational Indigenous feminisms (2016), Lin continues with the journey as a native daughter of Taiwan in her work with Taiwan Indigenous women and writing about their cultural productions as resistance and knowledge production. She is currently co-editing two book projects: on transnational Indigenous feminisms and social justice movements.

Dr. Lindsay Lyons

Lindsay Lyons holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change, and is the founder of the educational blog, Time for Teachership. She is an educational consultant who works with teachers and school leaders to inspire educational innovation, create curricula grounded in youth activism, and build capacity for shared leadership and racial and gender justice. Lindsay who also taught in the NYC public schools system for seven years, believes in the power of working in partnership with students and families to create engaging, authentic curricula and foster an inclusive, justice-oriented community. Using her research on shared leadership structures and student voice, she is passionate about helping schools design systems and structures that exemplify shared leadership. She is inspired by the shared, democratic leadership styles of Mary Parker Follet and Ella Baker, and she subscribes to Heifetz, Grahow, & Linsky’s theory of adaptive leadership, particularly their insistence that, adaptive challenges (such as educational inequity) “can only be addressed through changes in people’s priorities, beliefs, habits, and loyalties.”

Dr. Susan Marine

Susan Marine is an Associate Professor and Director of the Higher Education Graduate Program. She is a critical educator committed to changework who ardently believes that everyone can and should be part of creating liberatory colleges. A lesbian, a midwesterner, and a feminist, Susan is committed to building communities of change and affirmation, to opposing racism, and to affirming LGBTQ people and our futures. Her research and teaching focuses on identifying effective strategies for resistance and engaging in principled and collaborative truth-telling. She is excited to be part of building a Merrimack where #BlackLivesMatter and where missing histories are unearthed, centered, and celebrated.

Dr. Michael Mobley

Dr. Michael Mobley is an associate professor and Director of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program in the Psychology Department at Merrimack College. Dr. Mobley has taught at Salem State University, Rutgers Graduate School of Education in New Brunswick, and the University of Missouri-Columbia. He earned his B.S. in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University; M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from Temple University; and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Mobley’s expertise and research interests include multicultural counseling competencies, perfectionism, scale development, risks and protective factors mediating resilience among culturally diverse adolescents in community and school settings, and racial, ethnic, gay, and lesbian identity development models. Dr. Mobley served as an Associate Editor of The Counseling Psychologist, and on the editorial board of Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Journal of Counseling Psychology and Journal of Black Psychology

Dr. Mobley was the 2015 President of the Society of Counseling Psychology (SCP), Division 17 of the American Psychological Association. In 2019 he served as Chair of the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest. He is a recognized Fellow in APA, Division 17, and Division 45, the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race.

Rev. Yolanda M. Norton

Rev. Yolanda M. Norton is the H. Eugene Farlough Chair of Black Church Studies at San Francisco Theological Seminary. Her womanist scholarship explores how Scripture treats foreign women and how this has led to the oppression of women of color who encounter the Bible today. She is also a PhD candidate in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel and Theology and Practice Fellow at Vanderbilt University. Rev. Norton is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and she holds a Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies degree from Wesley Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Syracuse University.

Dr. Sandra Raponi

Dr. Sandra Raponi, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in Philosophy, the Director of the Social Justice Program, and the Advisor for the Law, Ethics and Society Minor. Her work focuses on legal and political philosophy and applied ethics.

Lauren Rocha

Lauren Rocha was a first generation college student who is currently an Assistant Professor of Practice and the First-Year Writing Coordinator in the English Department. Her research interests include horror, science fiction, and the intersections of popular culture and teaching. She participated in the Modern Language Association’s Reading-Writing-Pedagogy Institute focused on access-oriented institutions and presented her research, “Exploring the Mirror of Technology: Black Mirror and the First-Year Writing Classroom,” at the 2020 MLA Convention. Her work has been published in Popular Culture Review, Critical Survey, and the Journal of Gender Studies.

Peter Rojas

Peter Rojas is the coordinator of Multicultural Initiatives. Born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, he is the proud son of Colombian immigrants, the youngest of three siblings, and the first in his family to be born in the United States. Peter received his undergraduate degree at UMass Lowell and completed his graduate studies at Florida International University. In addition to diversity programming and initiatives, his experience has included working with fraternity and sorority life, campus activities, and student conduct. Before joining Merrimack College, Peter managed a non-profit in Los Angeles, California, assisting underrepresented communities to enter the field of software development.

Dan Roussel 

Dan Roussel ’21 is currently pursuing a BA in English and Sociology, with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. He works on campus at the Writers House as the intern and managing editor of The Merrimack Review, as well as being an Honors Resident Advisor. Dan writes for the O’Brien Center for Career Development, as well as the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. After college, he hopes to start a literary journal devoted to uplifting unpublished LGBTQ+ poets and artists.

Rowan Salhi 

Rowan Salhi (he/him/his) is a sophomore majoring in communications and media with a minor in digital media production. He is the treasurer of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, a member of the Affinity Board, a member of the Onstagers and a host for WMCK. Rowan is an advocate for human rights and strives to one day make the world a more inclusive place through representation in the media.

Dr. Myrian Sánchez (Kichwa Kitukara|Ecuador)

Dr. Myrian Sánchez is a leading transnational Indigenous women’s voice and organizer on many platforms that include the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She networks widely in the Indigenous Americas, from Mexico to Ecuador, as well as internationally, on Turtle Island and Basque Country (her role in coordinating research on environment for KOIZ). Myrian holds a Ph.D. in health and nutrition and expertise and licenses in Indigenous and alternative medicine. She has been an Indigenous women’s human rights activist internationally for over 25 years, locally, nationally, and internationally. Her titles are many, and her reach, far and wide. She is President of the National Indigenous Women’s Council in Ecuador. Since its inception in 2002, Dr. Sánchez has been a member of the Indigenous Women’s Caucus for the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. For the past 15 years, she has been the coordinator for the CEDHAE Ecuadorian international committee on human rights, environment, and ecologies. For the past decade, she has served as a correspondent for an Indigenous press based in Mexico, called AIPIN. In addition, she produces and hosts a radio program on life, health, and ancestral medicine, bringing healthy news and notes to all corners of the world.

Michael Senoff

Michael Senoff is a junior at Merrimack College studying Communication and Media and Women’s and Gender Studies. In addition to his studies, Michael is also the producer of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department’s first and only podcast “Living Out Loud: Storytelling for Social Change.” He also holds several leadership positions in various student organizations on campus including being the Vice President for Community Living in the Austin Scholars LLC and the Business Director of WMCK Merrimack College Radio.

Dr. Simona Sharoni

Dr. Simona Sharoni is the Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. A first-generation college student, twice an immigrant, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, and a veteran, Sharoni identifies as a queer feminist who has been actively working to foster social justice, diversity, and inclusion for almost four decades. She holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and MA and BA degrees in Counseling and Special Education from Haifa University, Israel. Sharoni joined Merrimack College in 2017 as Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and has served as the Director of the Interdisciplinary Institute for the past two years. Prior to that she taught at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, the Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington and the American University in Washington DC. Additionally, she held distinguished scholar appointments at the University of Oregon and the University of Cincinnati.

Haley Taing

Haley Taing is a senior who is a double major, studying Social Justice and Political Science. She is a Unity House Council Member and the Student Government Association (SGA) Diversity Committee Chair. She is currently pursuing an internship in the President’s Office, working with Dr. Sharoni on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative. Born and raised in Lowell, MA, Haley is a daughter of refugees from Cambodia and the first in her family to attend a four-year college. She is passionate about diversity equity and inclusion and aspires to pursue a law degree and use it to help make changes in our society.

Monti Washington

Professional actor and award-winning spoken word poet, Monti Washington, epitomizes TRU talent and perseverance. After growing up abused and in and out of foster care, without a father or a home, Monti continued to inspire and shock the world with his ability to conquer all odds against him and inspire all of those around him in the process.
With over 8 years of professional experience working with youth, Monti has encouraged thousands of individuals to believe in themselves and create positive change in their lives. He uses his natural ability to connect with his audience through his powerful keynote assemblies, one on one mentorship programs, as well as his life-changing personal development techniques to instill lasting success for both students and adults.
Whether you are looking to improve your life, build more meaningful relationships or conquer your wildest dreams, Monti Washington’s “Success No Matter What” theory is guaranteed to guide you each step of the way.

Dr. Alex Wilson

Dr. Alex Wilson (Ed.D. Harvard) is Professor of Educational Foundations and the Director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research and community work span a wide spectrum, from two-spirit people and “coming in,” to Indigenous land-based education, to sustainable housing. She is an organizer with the Idle No More Movement, integrating radical education movement work with grassroots interventions that prevent the destruction of land and water.

Oscar Zepeda

Oscar Zepeda is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Girard School of Business. Originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, he moved to the United States in 2013 after he was awarded a scholarship to play soccer at Merrimack College. He graduated from Merrimack in 2017 and later received his master’s degree in Applied Economics from Boston College. While at Merrimack, Zepeda was captain of his soccer team, worked several jobs to help pay for school, and co-founded a company, OMZE Group, with his father. Last year, Mr. Zepeda was named one of Boston’s 30 Under 30 Most Influential Latinos award.