Our Team

Meet our team of passionate professionals from diverse backgrounds,
each committed to increasing diversity in medicine and alleviating the
shortage of clinicians in underserved communities.

Michael Rivers


Cherose Walker


Leon M. Ptaszek


Megan Pugach-Gordon


Stephen D. Alkins


Enna Jimenez


Kelly Mackey


Brendan Leonard


Beth Schaefer


Charis Loveland


Thomas Foresta


Ricardo Correa


Claudia A. Alvarez


Tavares Brewington


Frank Alexander Clark


Scott James


Maryam DiMauro


Ruth Louis


Kenny Weill


Jarrod Lockhart


Nneoma Duru


Jamie Sharken


Vivi Tang


Guy Maytal


Franklyn Rocha-Cabrero


Luis Quiel


Majd Mouded


Susanna Tuffy


Holly R. Khachadoorian


Burak Yuzuguldu


Jeffery O. Boateng


Kelley Gurley


Ester Toledo

Program Coordinator

Lawrence B. Mensah

Founder and CEO

Become a Partner

Interested in exploring an opportunity to collaborate?

Please contact our Boston office at [email protected].

Meet Our Partners

We recognize the vital role of our partners and are deeply grateful for their continued assistance.

Michael Rivers M.D.

Director of Ophthalmology at Modernizing Medicine

Educated at Princeton and Cornell University Medical School, Dr. Rivers practiced as a retinal specialist in the Washington, DC area for 26 years. He specialized in caring for patients with advanced diabetic retinopathy which continues to be a leading cause of blindness. Caring for a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population, he saw firsthand the inequities associated with the healthcare of less fortunate subgroups in the United States.

Currently Dr. Rivers is an executive for Modernizing Medicine, a medical software company. He is responsible for helping understand clients needs as they run complicated medical businesses. He also works closely with the software development team to enhance the software platform and anticipate future challenges providers have in delivering healthcare. Finally, he helps analyze data to help understand and streamline business processes internal to the organization.

Cherose Walker

Assistant Principal at Medford High School

Cherose Walker holds a Masters in Education (Ed.M.) from Harvard University, an M.B.A from Suffolk University and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  She is currently an Assistant Principal at Medford High School. Ms.Walker’s career in education extends over 15 years. She started her career as an elementary special education educator in the Boston Public Schools,  and then taught mathematics and humanities at the middle school level. 

Ms. Walker has held various leadership positions throughout her career in education. She currently serves as a member of the Suffolk  University M.B.A  Advisory Board, The Race and Equity Task Force for the Medford Public Schools, and the Massachusetts Partnership for Diversity in Education. She also is a Life Coach and Educational Consultant who specializes in community building, trauma and self care. Ms. Walker has a passion to serve others and her commitment to that is evident through all aspects of her work. 

Leon M. Ptaszek, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Dr. Leon Ptaszek is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ptaszek received his undergraduate degree with high honors from Wesleyan University in 1994 and his MD and PhD degrees from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York University) in 2003. He completed a residency program in Internal Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 2005 and then completed clinical and research fellowships in Cardiovascular Diseases and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in 2011.

Dr. Ptaszek’s research interests include the molecular mechanisms of scar formation after myocardial infarction and interventions that reduce post-infarct scar burden. He holds two patents and is the author of over 50 original scientific publications, book chapters and reviews. He is regularly invited to deliver lectures related to his areas of clinical and research expertise on national and international levels. Dr. Ptaszek also maintains an active referral practice that includes local, regional, national, and international referrals. In addition, Dr. Ptaszek is involved in international health outreach efforts and has performed pacemaker and defibrillator implant procedures in Ethiopia and India.

Dr. Ptaszek received the Franklin G. Ebaugh, Jr. Award for research and the Award for Professionalism from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 2005. He received the Clinician-Scientist Award from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and was named the de Gunzburg Scholar at MGH in 2011. Dr. Ptaszek became a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology in 2013 and became a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society in 2018.

Megan Pugach-Gordon

Director of Education at The Forsyth Institute

Dr. Megan Pugach-Gordon is Director of Forsyth Student Scholars Programs and a faculty researcher at the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, MA, where she directs STEM  programming for High School 6-12th grade youth, exposing the next generation of scientists to laboratory research and oral health-focused sciences. Dr. Pugach-Gordon is passionate about and committed to promoting STEM careers for youth with underserved backgrounds.

With a background in oral and craniofacial research, Dr. Pugach-Gordon’s research is focused on tooth formation, malformation, disease and oral health disparities. The long-term vision of Dr. Pugach-Gordon’s research is to develop treatments to prevent severe early childhood caries in underserved populations, and biologically inspired strategies to effectively repair malfunctioning tooth structures. 

After completing her undergraduate training at Washington University, Dr. Pugach-Gordon received her PhD from the University of California, San Francisco. After her postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania, she joined Forsyth as assistant faculty with an Instructor appointment at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Stephen D. Alkins Ph.D.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer and Neuroscientist

Dr. Stephen D. Alkins, Jr is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (and Belonging) Officer (DEIO) and Co-chair of the DEI Council at Technical Education Research Centers (TERC). With his leadership, Dr. Alkins helps craft and implement the vision for DEIB at TERC through his collaboration on National Science Foundation (NSF) STEM education grant development in multiple learning environments (informal and formal K-16 spaces).  

Dr. Alkins role and responsibilities include recruitment and retention of a diverse research and infrastructure staff, internal policy review, development and analysis of inclusive educational opportunities and social programming, and establishment of collaborative partnerships to promote equity for all STEM learners.  He also helps research teams employ critical DEIB frameworks (e.g. Critical Race Theory, Queer Theory, Social Capital Theory, etc.) to help dismantle systemic inequities within STEM education, support youth STEM identity development, and engage and include underrepresented/marginalized communities in authentic, collaborative research experiences.  Further, he directs the TERC Scholars Program, an undergraduate internship experience, to diversify the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education researchers.  

Dr. Alkins is an accomplished scientist, college and high school educator, mentor, and national-performing Spoken Word/SLAM poet who uses art to diversify participation in and enhance understanding of STEAM concepts.  He is a alumnus of both the Neuroscience Scholars Program through the National Science Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Impact Program.  Also, he was featured by Cell Press and Cell Mentor on its “1000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America” list in 2020. Stephen received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Morehouse College, Georgia and Master’s and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Brandeis University, Massachusetts.

Enna Jimenez

Business Transformation and Quality Leader, Delivery & Services at IDEMIA

Enna Jimenez is The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Change Champion Award-Winner. She has over 30 years in multiple industries with expertise in Leadership, Technology and Transformation Management. Currently, Ms. Jimenez is the Head of the Quality Assurance team at IDEMIA, an augmented identity security organization. She  received the Quarterly Manager MVP Award in October 2019, for leading change in the company. She is a Coach and Mentor and has a huge passion for Diversity and Inclusion, talent engagement and community organizations.

In March 2021, Ms. Jimenez received the Emerging Leaders in Technology and Engineering (E.L.I.T.E.) Award from NSBE Boston Professionals. Recently, Ms. Jimenez, was appointed Presidential Adviser for Alumni Engagement by the Simmons University President, Dr. Lynn Wooten. She is a member of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Advisory Board and the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA) National Board of Directors. 

Ms. Jimenez is one of the 92 Hispanics featured in the first edition book Hispanic Stars Rising: A New Face of Power and she is also one of the Latino leaders featured in the Hispanic Executive magazine. The Multicultural Symposium Series Black History Empowerment Recognition Breakfast recognized Ms. Jimenez as one of the Black and Brown Innovators of Action Honorees in March 2020. In 2019, the National Diversity Council selected her as one of the 2019 National Latino Leader Award winners and she received a Citation from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on Leadership and Excellence. 

Ms. Jimenez, earned her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Spanish from Simmons University and a Simmons Graduate School of Management Executive Leadership Program certificate.

Kelly Mackey

Vice President of Revenue Operations at Global Healthcare Exchange.

Kelly Mackey serves as Vice President, Revenue Operations at Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX.com), a tech company that’s reducing the cost of doing business in healthcare by automating supply chain processes and improving visibility into the products used in patient care. GHX has built the world’s largest community of healthcare trading partners.

Based in the greater Denver area, Ms. Mackey has held roles in finance, supply chain, strategy, and business operations. Prior to GHX, Kelly worked for 15 years at Staples and served as Co-Chair of the Women Who Lead business resource group from 2018–2020. She now serves as a Co-Chair for the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. Prior to Staples, Kelly held finance roles at Morgan Stanley and Verilink Corporation in Colorado.

Ms. Mackey received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Oral Roberts University and an MBA from the University of Colorado, as well as a CPA. Ms. Mackey is an alumna of Harvard Business School through the Advanced Management Program and active in the Harvard Business School Association of Boston.

Brendan Leonard

CEO & President, SVP Sales & Marketing

Mr. Leonard is an entrepreneurial executive with broad general management expertise and over 20 years leading consumer facing product and service brands and companies.  Leveraging a background in brand management and sales leadership, he has a track record of leveraging innovation to develop and launch winning products and programs to drive profitable growth. 

Mr. Leonard, industry experience spans a diverse assortment of consumer verticals including luggage, toys, elective medical financing and over the counter consumer health and personal care for challengers as well as industry leading companies such as Samsonite, Hasbro and Capital One.  A career highlight was the receipt of the President’s “E” Award for Excellence in Exports, the highest honor the federal government gives for significant contributions to the increase of American exports, while meeting the President in the Oval Office. Mr. Leonard received his M.B.A from the University of Notre Dame and Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Rhode Island.

Beth Schaefer

Managing Director at Koya Partners, Executive Search, Higher Education

Ms. Beth Schaefer is a Managing Director at Koya Partners in Boston, part of the Diversified Search Group, working in the higher education and non-profit sectors.  Beth specializes in leading Chief Financial Officer, Chief Human Resource Officer, Chief Enrollment Officer, Chief Operating Officer,  Chief Procurement Officer, and senior executive searches in academic and administrative leadership roles across multiple functional areas.  

With more than twenty years of corporate experience in the human resources role and over a decade of executive search experience in higher education, non-profit, and corporate sectors, Beth partners with a broad range of institutions from liberal arts colleges, Jesuit and other faith based institutions, to large public and private research universities and academic medical centers.  

Before joining Koya Partners in 2017, Beth worked as a search consultant with a boutique higher education search firm as well as with a regional human resources leadership search firm.  Prior to a career in search she held roles in human resources management in a mix of industries, mainly in the Boston area.  

Beth is an active participant in career coaching and on panels with national professional higher education associations such as NACUBO, ACE, and CUPA-HR.  Beth is an active member of Boston-area and national human resources organizations, local community arts and environmental sustainability organizations and volunteers at a women’s shelter.  

Beth received her Bachelor of Science in Business from Providence College,  Rhode Island and earned her M.B.A from Simmons University, Massachusetts.

Charis Loveland

Business Development Manager, AI/ML at Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Ms. Charis Loveland works at Amazon Web Services as a Business Development Manager on the Cloud Intelligence team specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). She helps the global sales force to better understand and articulate the value of ML software and creates original content. She is an active Amazon community member, an Emotional Intelligence evangelist, an Inclusivity, Diversity, and Engagement ambassador, Class Chat coach, and Hour of Code organizer.

Ms. Loveland holds a high-tech M.B.A, summa cum laude, from Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts from Bates College, magna cum laude. She brings a decade and a half of experience in product management, AI, data analytics, new product introduction, file and hardware storage, and software development. She honed her AI/ML skills as a product manager at Microsoft where she launched a crowdsourcing platform for Azure ML. She founded Rue La La’s data science team where she created and executed a roadmap and strategy to create personalized experiences and segment customers. She previously held roles at EMC and SAP managing technical projects.

Thomas Foresta

Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Envision Bank

Thomas Foresta brings over 20 years of management experience to Envision Bank where he currently serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer responsible for all technology and facilities operations. He is a strategic financial services executive who has a demonstrated record of building rock solid customer service delivery systems and teams.

Mr. Foresta’s passion lies in leading change and leveraging technology to redefine and improve the customer experience. Prior to joining Envision, he served as Chief Information Officer for Dean Bank, Vice President and Director of Information Systems for Capital Crossing Bank, and Senior Consultant for a super-regional bank.

Mr. Foresta also held the position of Director of MIS at Abington Savings Bank. Mr. Foresta received his BS in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, graduating summa cum laude. Mr. Foresta has served as a faculty member of The New England School for Financial Studies since 2010.

Ricardo Correa, M.D., Ed. D., F.A.C.E., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.M.Q

Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Arizona College of Medicine Graduate School

Ricardo Correa, M.D., Ed. D., F.A.C.E., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.M.Q is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Program Director for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Fellowship and Director for Diversity in Graduate Medical Education at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Staff Clinician and Researcher at Phoenix V.A.M.C. and Faculty at Mayo School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic – Arizona.

Dr. Correa is the editor of Dynamed, S.G.I.M. Forum, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Frontier Endocrinology, Thyroid, Clinical Thyroidology among other journals. And has been involved with local, regional and national organizations in the areas of medical education, leadership, and physician wellbeing, including the A.M.A. Joy in Medicine organization, A.C.G.M.E. at different levels including the Duty Hour Task Force, N.B.M.E., A.B.I.M., A.B.M.S., among others.

He is board-certified in Medical Quality and author of the book, “Case report: basics and publication.” and senior Co-Editor of the book “Endocrinology of Aging.” His research focuses on neuroendocrinology, mainly on pituitary and adrenal tumor and healthcare disparities in diabetes in Latinx populations.

Dr. Correa has won several awards for his recognitions for service to the underserved communities and providing educational support to many underrepresented students on their path to careers in medicine. Some of his awards include the Presidential Leadership scholar, 100 Hispanic Inspiring Scientist and many more.

Claudia A. Alvarez, D.O

Assistant Clinical Professor at University of California, Riverside School of Medicine

Dr. Claudia Alejandra Alvarez immigrated to Florida from Peru in 2004. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of South Florida, where she completed a degree in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Psychology. In 2010 she started her medical education at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona, where she trained in Federally Qualified Health Centers serving the uninsured and underinsured community of Tucson, Arizona.

Dr. Alvarez pursued her residency training at Harbor UCLA Family Medicine residency with the Los Angeles county Health Department. Her residency had a focus on social justice, advocacy, and community outreach. Upon graduating from her specialty in 2017 she moved to Riverside to start her career in academic medicine at Riverside University Health Systems Family Medicine residency affiliated with the University of California Riverside medical school.

In 2018 she moved to Miami, Florida where she continued her work at the county hospital of Miami and part-time at an FQHC serving the indigent population. In 2021, she returned to her alma mater and is now working as faculty in family medicine residency. Her focus is on social justice, human rights, mentorship, healthy lifestyle changes for the underserved, and advocacy.

Tavares Brewington, Esq

Vice President & General Counsel at Keolis America Inc

Tavares Brewington has provided insightful and motivational leadership to help organizations achieve their top-priority goals. He is currently Vice President and General Counsel for Keolis North America, Leading provider of passenger transportation services throughout the U.S. and Canada (largest light rail operator in the world). He also served as the Chief Compliance Officer for Leica Biosystems, a Danaher Company where he managed the company’s Global Compliance function as well the Company’s global commercial and litigation matters.

As the Director of U.S. Compliance & Global Program Management with Biogen, Tavares developed and managed all aspects of the company’s Global Compliance Program.

As an Assistant Counsel with the United Technologies Corporation, he lead an internal-external team in investigating compliance violations worldwide, including extensive travel to numerous international locations.

As an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the United States Department of Justice, Tavares worked closely with the FBI as well as other federal agencies on numerous investigations and prosecutions.

Tavares is the Founder of Street2Ivy, LLC, an organization dedicated to inspiring entrepreneurs from underserved communities.
He earned his MBA from Cornell University, his JD from the Boston College Law School, and his BA from the College of the Holy Cross.

Frank Alexander Clark M.D, FAPA

Associate Professor at University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville

Dr. Frank Alexander Clark is a board-certified adult outpatient psychiatrist at Prisma Health-Upstate. He also serves as clinical associate professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville. Dr. Clark received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Monmouth College in Illinois and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Northwestern University. He then completed his residency in general psychiatry at Palmetto Richland Hospital in Columbia, SC (now Prisma Health-Midlands)

In addition to his psychiatric practice, Dr. Clark has held many leadership positions in national organizations including the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Locally he serves on the board of directors for National Alliance on Mental Illness-Greenville (NAMI) and Mental Health of America-Greenville.

Dr. Clark has a strong passion for medical mission work and has traveled to numerous countries including Zambia, Ireland, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Canada, and Haiti to serve others medically and spiritually. He considers his faith a significant factor in his success and his practice. He enjoys spending time with his family, exercising, writing poetry, and traveling.

Scott James

Data Scientist at Starfish by EAB

Mr. Scott James is a Data Scientist at Starfish by EAB, where he builds predictive models for student success, develops data visualizations, and analyzes intervention effectiveness for community colleges and university partners. As the son of a public high school teacher, Mr. James has seen the impact quality education can have, and is driven to help more students get the support they need to excel in the classroom and beyond. 

In his work at EAB, Mr. James applies his skills as a data scientist and communicator to help institutional leaders interpret findings from quantitative research and use those insights to better support students and close equity gaps in college outcomes. Partnering with university researchers, Mr. James has helped identify successful advising initiatives and tutoring programs and contributed to the literature on online and hybrid course taking.

As an undergraduate Scott worked on a project for the USEPA analyzing patterns in toxic emissions, and as a graduate student led a project for the Baltimore Ravens applying decision models to the NFL draft. Mr. James holds Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics and a master’s degree in advanced Analytics, both from North Carolina State University.

In his free time, Mr. James enjoys playing basketball and table tennis, and is always on the lookout for scenic hikes and running trails (even in the cold New England winters!). 

Maryam Dimauro

Digital Marketing Specialist

Ms. Maryam DiMauro is a digital marketer, illustrator, and educator whose experience spans six countries.  She is passionate about education for young children and has worked and volunteered for various organizations in Spain, Ecuador, England, the USA, and El Salvador.  She has produced content for radio, television, and print.  She has spearheaded educational marketing campaigns in Vietnam, Mexico, the USA, Spain, El Salvador, and Canada. 

Ms. Dimauro grew up in El Salvador and has volunteered for various organizations that advocate for equal education access and teens’ empowerment. She has designed over 50 newsletters with SEO-rich content and recruited 1000 schools through email campaigns with a complex workflow on Hubspot with an average CTR of 45%. With Google Ads, I decreased the CPL from $100 to $7 and generated over 1200 leads for students and 500 host families.

As Managing Editor at Bright Hub, I created six educational K12 channels of lesson plans for teachers. It generated more than 6 million views within one year of inception with 800 writers and 40 contributing editors. Maryam has worked as an SEO, SEM, and Social Media digital marketing consultant for ten years. She has a Masters in Management and a certificate in Graphic Design, Digital Marketing, Film Studies, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management.  Maryam also has a teacher’s license in English Literature.

Ruth Louis

Relationship Manager at MassMutual Trust Company

Ms. Ruth Louis is a wealth management professional with over 12 years of experience in the financial services industry. Ms. Louis joined the Private Wealth division of Citizens Bank in 2014, working alongside a team of investment managers, advisors, tax and trust officers, to deliver comprehensive financial planning, investment, tax, insurance and estate planning solutions that strategically position clients to meet lifestyle, retirement, education and philosophical funding goals.  

Additionally, Ms. Louis leveraged her leadership role at Citizens to elevate the client experience through a robust transformation of service operations that empowered sales and administrative teams to be more effective in their efforts to develop, service, and deepen client relationships in the MA, PA, NH and RI Private Wealth offices. Ms. Louis implemented compliance and performance management routines, resource deployment strategies, risk identification and mitigation measures to undergird workflows and controls that ensure a consistent client experience.  

Before joining Citizens, Ms. Louis spent over 6 years at East Boston Savings Bank, where she supported and managed branch operations in various capacities. In partnership with the non-profit organization GEMS, She also delivered financial literacy courses to youth and young adults in effort to diminish socioeconomic gaps in underrepresented groups through education and awareness. She received her Bachelors in Business Management from Northeastern University in Boston, MA and Certificate in Financial Planning at Boston University in Boston, MA.

Kenny Weill

Principal at K. Weill Consulting Group, LLC

Kenny Weill launched K. Weill Consulting Group in 2002, which focuses on strategic fund development for nonprofits. His practice works with Boards and executive staff on fundraising assessments, fund development plans, case statements, appeals, donor research, individual giving strategy, grant research and writing, and CRM database solutions.  He regularly trains, coaches and presents on fund development strategy.  

Prior to consulting, Mr. Weill held management, research and other positions in community-based, academic, health care and government settings. He received an M.S. in Health Policy and Management from Harvard School of Public Health and a B.A. from Wesleyan University, where he was the recipient of the Limbach Prize for Community Service.  

Mr. Weill is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Nonprofit Consultants Network and Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. Mr. Weill has a long history of community-based volunteerism. He is currently on the Board of Steps to Success and chairs its Development Committee. 

Jarrod Lockhart

Assistant Director, Pipeline Initiatives at Morehouse School of Medicine

Jarrod Lockhart, M.S.Ed. is the Founder and CEO of J. Wesley Lockhart Consulting and Assistant Director at Morehouse School of Medicine in the Office for Educational Outreach and Health Careers in the Department of Admissions and Student Affairs.

Jarrod provides administrative leadership and oversight for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) Academy. HCOP’s structured programs of instruction, mentoring, tutoring and other educational experiences are designed to enhance academic achievement, expand skills, and enhance interest and achievement towards a healthcare/biomedical science career to increase the number of healthcare professionals from underrepresented backgrounds.

He is committed to helping the institution’s mission by increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine, various health professions, and the scientific workforce. Jarrod works to enhance pipeline programs designed to provide educational opportunities in STEAM disciplines, intensify exposure to cutting-edge biomedical and public health research, and prepare for successful application to and matriculation emphasizing careers in the health professions.

He has over 20-years of secondary and higher education program development and training. Jarrod earned his Bachelor of Science in Social and Behavioral Science from University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Master of Science in Higher Education. He is pursuing the Doctor of Education in Organizational Change at Baylor University in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Nneoma Duru

Medical Student at Boston University School of Medicine

Ms. Duru is a 3rd year medical student at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). She is a native of Texas, and holds a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a Chemistry minor from the illustrious Dillard University in New Orleans, LA; achieving the highest cumulative STEM GPA in her graduating class.

Prior to starting at BUSM, Nneoma worked at Ochsner Medical Center as an experienced Data Coordinator with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. While at BUSM, she has been part of numerous student organizations such as Orthopaedic Surgery Interest Group; co-leader, Surgical Society; co-leader, Student National Medical Association; Maps Liaison, Social Responsibility Society, PRIDE Service, and Wellness Initiative; Physical and Mental Health.

Mentoring and wellness are her passions and excited about leveraging her experience to support students at The Pathway Initiative.

Jamie Sharken

Executive Assistant at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership

Ms. Jamie Sharken works in Digital Communications at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common (MCC) Project where she oversees the social media content, and drafts original content related to faculty news, research, events, and other activities. At MCC, Ms. Sharken organized a non-partisan initiative designed to support young people aged 18-25 in effectively mobilizing their peers to vote, and to provide them with civic knowledge. She coordinated a series of seminars, training, small-group sessions, and individual work for 75 selected participants from across the country. Additionally, Jamie is the Managing Director of Kayyem Solutions, a consulting firm that provides strategic and operational advice in resiliency planning, risk management, mega-event security, infrastructure protection and cybersecurity business coaching. The principal consultant is Harvard Professor Juliette Kayyem, who is a CNN Analyst and former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. 


As a bilingual professional, Jamie has spent the majority of the past decade living in Latin America. Jamie previously worked with an international education organization that provides scholarships for high schools to participate in leadership development and service-learning programs. She is passionate about their mission to empower students from all backgrounds to build greater empathy, agency, and global perspective. While living abroad, she was the community manager of the United Nations Population Fund in Argentina. In her free time, Jamie loves playing Ultimate Frisbee, cooking, gardening, biking, hiking, and traveling.

Vivi Tang, MS

Digital Marketing Analytics (intern)

Vivi graduated with a master’s degree from Hult International Business School in International Marketing. She is passionate about digital marketing, especially SEO, SEM, and social media marketing. During her master’s program, Vivi attended several programs and projects aimed at helping small businesses to address difficulties due to the pandemic by enhancing their digital presence to further increase revenue. She has experience in designing innovative UX/UI design projects during her master’s to further enhance her digital marketing skills.

Vivi spent the majority of the past decades in Taiwan. She worked as a sales associate in multiple international industries that rooted her soft skills to communicate with people from different points of view.

As a leader committed to advancing justice, equity, and inclusion in medicine, she has led the Minority Association of Pre-med Students in establishing mentorship programs with medical students, resident physicians, and students at the University of Connecticut.

In a similar fashion, she is excited to work with The Pathway Initiative towards achieving this same mission and creating a world where all people, no matter their circumstances, can thrive and achieve their fullest potential.

Guy Maytal, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Chief of Integrated Care & Psychiatric Oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College

Guy Maytal, MD is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and serves as the Chief of Integrated Care and Psychiatric Oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College / New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Maytal was educated at Harvard College and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed residency in adult psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Fellowship in Psycho-oncology and Psychosomatic Medicine at Dana Farber Cancer. He later served on the faculty of MGH and Harvard Medical School for 11 years, where he developed and expanded multiple clinical programs in the areas of general psychiatry, psycho-somatic medicine, and palliative medicine.

Dr. Maytal joined the faculty of Weill Cornell Medicine in 2018, where he continues to develop innovative clinical programs, teach students and peers, and provide clinical consultation and care. In particular, his work focuses on developing a Division of Psycho-oncology as well as developing integrated models of mental health care delivery.

Dr. Maytal has authored and co-authored peer-reviewed papers, review articles, and book chapters in various areas of psychosomatic medicine. Furthermore, Dr. Maytal is a dedicated and passionate educator who is actively involved in the teaching and supervision of medical students, residents, fellows, and staff physicians. Dr. Maytal currently lives in New York City where he enjoys yoga, cycling, poetry, and transformational conversations.

Franklyn Rocha-Cabrero M.D

Clinical Neurophysiology Fellow at University of California, Irvine – College of Medicine

Franklyn Rocha-Cabrero M.D. is a fellow physician at the University of California-Irvine in Orange California, sub-specializing in clinical neurophysiology with focus on epilepsy and intraoperative monitoring. Dr. Rocha-Cabrero obtained his MD degree from University of Illinois College of Medicine-Rockford and the Bachelor of Science with a Summa Cum Laude in Industrial Microbiology Biology from University of Puerto Rico-Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez.

He has been involved in organized medicine, health policy, and community organization at multiple levels. As a medical student, he was an active leader of the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) National Board where he served as National Vice President of External Affairs to develop complex solutions to different topics in the Latino community.

Dr. Rocha-Cabrero is currently a regional advisor for the Latino Medical Student Association and an executive leader in multiple non-profit organizations including the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), the American Medical Association (AMA) among others to advocate for Latino health policy.

Dr. Rocha-Cabrero has received multiple local and national awards including the Congressional Hispanic Institute/United Health Foundation Award and the American Medical Association Minority Scholars Award. He is passionate about helping others and went into medicine to have a long-lasting impact on the most vulnerable Latino communities.

Luis Quiel M.D., FACP, CPE

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Tufts University & Medical Chief of Hospital Medicine, Lawrence General Hospital

Dr. Luis Quiel is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University Medical School, and Chief of Hospital Medicine and Utilization Review Physician at Lawrence General Hospital in Massachusetts. He also serves as Chair of the Subcommittee for the Practice of Medicine at the Healthcare Policy Committee for the American College of Physicians, Massachusetts Chapter.

Dr. Quiel hails from Panamá. He is very passionate about mentoring the next generation of Students, Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Residents, and Medical Students, to reach the best outcomes in healthcare delivery, as well as improving healthcare outcomes through transformational leadership.

One of his achievements is a recent award from the Panamanian Ministry of Health for serving extreme poverty-stricken communities that are very difficult to access during an environmental disaster. He also received an award from the American Hospital Association in physician leadership.

Majd Mouded, M.D.

Executive Director at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR)

As an immigrant, Dr. Majd Mouded realized the tremendous benefit that mentoring and advice can offer. He grew up in Southern Massachusetts living alone with his parents. They were unfamiliar with the education system in the United States and could not advise him about college and medical school admission. Fortunately, he was able to find mentorship through his teachers, professors, and ultimately other physicians along the way.

Dr. Mouded holds a BA and MD from Tufts University, followed by Johns Hopkins Hospital for internal Medicine and Harvard for his specialization in pulmonary and critical care medicine. Dr. Mouded worked as an assistant professor and basic science researcher, as well as a clinician and a medical educator. More recently, he returned to research and now primarily works in the pharmaceutical industry developing new medications for incurable lung disease. Dr. Mouded held roles in clinical development as Medical Director at Proteostasis and Biogen and as an Executive Medical Director at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.

Dr. Mouded was blessed to have great mentorship and advice and is excited to pay that forward. He is eager to work with students at multiple points in their career journey ranging from high school students considering careers in science/biology through medical students and graduates thinking about their future training and career development.

Susanna Tuffy, MS

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Susanna Tuffy is a licensed mental health counselor in private practice, treating teens and adults from a solution-focused and strengths-based perspective. She has always had a fascination with the mind and a belief in the positive potential in each individual. After exploring laboratory neuroscience, and becoming fascinated with developmental psychology, she became a teacher.

She taught in San Francisco, got a teaching degree in Bristol, England, and returned to the US to teach young men in Washington, DC who had been expelled from the public schools with a diagnosis of emotional disturbance. Teaching there allowed her to see first-hand the inequities in society, and the virtual war zones where these youth lived.

After four years at this school, Susanna realized that she wanted to work more individually with teens to try to make change at the individual and family level and returned to counseling. She got a master’s degree in community counseling, working with youth who had been court-ordered to receive family counseling as an alternative to prison. Susanna is excited for this opportunity to have a larger impact supporting at-risk youth in a student advisory role.

She is very honored to work with the Pathway Initiative toward accomplishing the value and mission of people in the medical field, no matter their race, sexuality, and circumstances, to help them reach their most significant potential.

Holly R. Khachadoorian-Elia, M.D., MBA

Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School Associate Director & Advisor for Harvard Medical School Peabody Society

Dr. Khachadoorian-Elia was born and raised in the Boston area. She attended the College of the Holy Cross where she was a Psychology/Pre-Med major. Prior to attending medical school, she worked as an auditor for two years at Coopers & Lybrand in Boston. She then received her MD from Tufts University School of Medicine in 2002, where she was named a member of AOA.

Dr. Khachadoorian-Elia also earned an MBA in Health Management through a combined program with Tufts University School of Medicine, Northeastern University and Brandeis University Heller School for Social Policy and Management. She then completed her residency training in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2006. She has been practicing general Ob/Gyn at MGH since July 2006. As of 2016, she has utilized her MBA training as the Vice Chair for Administration for the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Dr. Khachadoorian-Elia has a long-standing interest in medical student and resident education. She is an Assistant Professor in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School. She currently serves as Associate Director & Advisor for Peabody Society at HMS after over ten years of experience in Ob/Gyn Clerkship leadership at MGH. She has served on several Harvard Medical School committees including the OB/GYN Clerkship Committee, Admissions Committee, LCME Steering Committee, and Learning Environment Steering Committee. She completed the APGO Academic Scholars and Leaders Program in 2013 which further developed her teaching and leadership skills and is also a 2018 graduate of the MGPO Physician Leadership Development Program.

When she is not caring for her patients at MGH, she enjoys spending all her free time with her family. Her expertise and passion for medical student and resident education well positions her as a mentor/coach for individuals across the entire medical education continuum.

Burak Yuzuguldu, M.D

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Burak Yuzuguldu is a graduate of Ege University Medical School in Izmir, Turkey. He is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He’s currently investigating the immunosuppressive environment in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and mechanisms of epigenetic regulation.

Dr. Yuzuguldu is also a Clinical Research Fellow and a member of the Diabetic Foot Ulcer Prevention and Treatment Council, and Endocrinology Department at Ege University Medical School. He has also served as a Volunteer Clinical Intern and Clinical Research Fellow at the Pediatric Hematology clinics in outpatient and inpatient settings. Dr. Yuzuguldu has received several awards including the Medal in National Mathematics Olympiad and the TUBITAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) Undergraduate Students Project fund.

His volunteer activities include helping to develop a variety of projects to give medical students an opportunity to participate in volunteer activities at Leyla’dan Sonra in Izmir, Turkey. He is very passionate about helping students find summer research projects, prepare for the MCAT, and USMLE Step 1 and 2 board examination.

Jeffery O. Boateng, MBchB (MD), MPH

Clinical Researcher at Boston University

Dr. Jeffery Owusu Boateng holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery from University of Ghana Medical School and master’s degree in Epidemiology/Biostatistics and Maternal and Child Health from Boston University’s School of Public Health. He is an aspiring pediatric cardiologist. He is interested in clinical research and currently works as a researcher at the Boston Medical Center. His research areas include Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms (NOWS), perinatal COVID-19 studies, opioid genetics studies, placental opioid studies, and placental immunology studies.

Dr. Owusu is also passionate about mentoring the next generation of leaders in healthcare and first-generation underrepresented immigrants who want to pursue a career in medicine. Jeffery currently serves as the youth leader and mentor for the youth wing of his local church in Boston.

Dr. Owusu is excited to bring his experience and passion to help premedical students and medical students with general career advice, test taking stills, preparing personal statements, interview coaching, and general professional development.

Kelley Gurley, Ph.D.

Head of Plasma Derived Therapies, Data & Digital Technologies Strategy and Operations at Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Gurley has broad experience in Health Information Technologies currently serving
as the Head of Plasma Derived Therapies, Data & Digital Technologies Strategy and Operations at Takeda Pharmaceuticals out of Cambridge MA.

Dr. Gurley has spent her 25-year career leading Digital Transformations and developing technologies that support acute and post-acute care, hospice, dialysis, and laboratory and life sciences.

Dr. Gurley earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and her research thesis is in Information Technology/ Human Centered Computing with a focus on technology and
Aging/Accessibility issues.

Though Dr. Gurley’s career has been focused on technology, Dr. Gurley’s true passion is serving others by creating opportunities which create individual success through coaching. Dr. Gurley is the Founder of ISO Life Coaching Services, where she helps clients find success both professionally and personally. “I am inspired every day observing the impact of a positive conversation on someone’s paradigm,” she said. Dr. Gurley is a certified Executive and Career Coach with expertise in Holistic Emotional Intelligence, Positive Intelligence, and Life Harmony Coaching. The ISO in her business stands for her business motto: “I Serve Others.” She wanted to create a platform to help others feel or learn to feel as passionate about their careers as she feels about her own.

In her spare time Dr. Gurley is also an author and international speaker. In her latest book “Leading Humans” Dr. Gurley provides a handbook to new leaders who are leading a team for the first time and provides tactical steps for readers searching to find effective ways to lead a human workforce.

Ester Toledo

Program Coordinator

Ester Toledo serves as our Program Coordinator, responsible for our high school and college programs. Her qualifications include a full-ride scholarship to Babson College, where she focused on social entrepreneurship and education for underrepresented youth. In Brazil, she founded a non-profit organization that has positively impacted over 6,000 low-income and underrepresented high school and college students, emphasizing professional and academic development. Additionally, she has gained valuable international experience in Spain and France and is skilled in multiple languages, including native Portuguese, fluent English, intermediate Spanish, and basic French. Ester’s experiences and skills include a multicultural and bilingual background, nonprofit and program management, outreach and development, and expertise in social entrepreneurship and education for underrepresented students.

Lawrence B. Mensah

Founder and CEO

Dr. Mensah holds a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences degree from the University of the West of England, UK, a Master’s degree in Medical Genetics & Immunogenetics from Brunel University, UK and a Triple Doctorate degree in Anatomy, Physiology and Genetics from University of Oxford, UK.

He is the founder and executive director of The Pathway Initiative Inc (TPI). He sees the founding of The Pathway Initiative as a clarion call, as he has experienced first-hand the devastating impact of health inequality in underserved communities by the sudden loss of both parents six-months apart.

Dr. Mensah has over 15 yr of experience in medical education, admissions, teaching, research, and student supervision. He trained as a scientist and researcher at the University of Cambridge, UK, Harvard Medical School, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research publications span hemato-oncology, genetics, bioengineering, photomedicine and nanomedicine. He is a recipient of the prestigious International Young Investigator Scientific Award in hematology.

He has mentored over 35 students, some are now practicing physicians.

Given his own humble beginnings from a small town in Ghana, he strongly believes that no child’s future should be shackled by their socio-economic background.

Besides academia, he takes to his other passion which spans over two decades of church leadership and educational support to the youth in his local community. He credits his career journey to the amazing grace of the Lord. He is married to his beautiful wife, Rosemary, they are blessed with two children, Edna and Lawrence Jr.