Meet our Staff

Get to know the Action for Education team

Michael Mastroianni, President/CEO of Action For Education

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Michael is currently a 4th year medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) and will be applying to orthopaedic surgery residency this upcoming year. Michael also served as the President of TUSM's Global Surgery Student Alliance chapter and one day looks forward to providing orthopaedic surgical care to the people of Honduras. Michael previously majored in Biology with a Biological Psychology concentration at the College of the Holy Cross.  He looks forward to a lifetime of serving others.

Contact Michael at mmastroianni@action4education.org

Jorge Encalada, President of JOH & Director of Operations in Honduras

Jorge lives in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and joined AcE after serving as the Director of Operations for 12 years with Medical Ministry International (MMI), another nonprofit organization. Jorge received his Nurse Practitioner's degree from the Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social (IHSS) and his Master's Degree in Divinity from Seminario Teológico Centroamericano (SETECA). Jorge is committed to bringing healthcare and education to his beloved country of Honduras. 

Contact Jorge at jorge.encalada@action4education.org

Marianna Marques, Co-Chief Operating Officer of Action for Education

Marianna is a JD candidate at Harvard Law School and holds a BA summa cum laude from Tufts University. She spent 2017-18 as a Fulbright Scholar in Madrid. Committed to affecting social change, she plans to continue partnering with underserved communities to increase access to education, health care, and job opportunities. She joined AcE after assembling a team at Tufts University to establish the Trinidad School of Nursing.

Contact Marianna at marianna.marques@action4education.org

Michael Ciaramella, Co-Chief Operating Officer of Action for Education

Michael is a current 4th year medical student and Dean's Scholar at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and will be applying to integrated vascular surgery residency this upcoming year. He graduated summa cum laude, Class of 2017 from College of the Holy Cross, as a member of the College Honors program with a double major in chemistry and music. Michael is also a member of the Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu. 

Contact Michael at mciaramella@action4education.org

 

Mia Ellis, Project Director for Trinidad School of Nursing

Mia graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University with a B.S. in quantitative economics and math and a minor in Arabic. She is now a research assistant in the Development and Governance Strategy Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). In the past, she worked for the Humane Society of the United States, United States Public Interest Research Group, the Mo Dewji Foundation, the Tufts Economic Department, and IFPRI.

 

Contact Mia at mia.ellis@action4education.org

Jocelyn O'Kane, Director of Service Trips

Jocelyn was born in Santiago, Chile where she lived until the age of 15, when she moved to Pennsylvania. In addition to nursing, she plans to pursue a career in the public health field, advocating and advancing patients' rights. Jocelyn is a Class of 2018 graduate from the College of the Holy Cross, where she majored in chemistry and followed the Pre-Health track. She now works with the Bon Secours Volunteer Health Ministry to provide healthcare to underprivileged individuals in Pittsburgh. 

Contact Jocelyn at jokane@action4education.org

Lauren McCormick, Director of Student Relations

Lauren is currently a 4th year medical student at Des Moines University and will be applying to pediatrics residency this upcoming year. Lauren graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2017 where she majored in biology. As a physician, Lauren plans to advocate for populations that lack sufficient healthcare in both Honduras and beyond.

Contact Lauren at lmccormick@action4education.org

Nicole Parentela, Clinic/Outreach Coordinator

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Nicole is currently a 4th year medical student at University of New England College of Medicine and will be applying to pediatrics residency this upcoming year. Nicole was inducted into both Sigma Sigma Phi and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Nicole also graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2016, where she majored in Psychology with a concentration in Biological Psychology. Her commitment to service and compassion for the underserved populations of Central America has led her to both Guatemala and Honduras with mission teams in the past, and she looks forward to service in her future as an osteopathic physician.

Contact Nicole at nparentela@action4education.org

Vincent Martello, Clinic/Outreach Coordinator

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Vincent is currently a 4th year medical student at University of New England College of Medicine and will be applying to general surgery residency this upcoming year. Vincent graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2016, with a major in Biology and a minor in Philosophy. He previously worked as a Research Assistant at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, managing the recruitment, enrollment, and oversight for several social-behavioral research projects.  He looks forward to helping AcE grow in its size, mission, and impact as we continue to serve the deserving people of Honduras!

Contact Vinny at vmartello@action4education.org

Alexander Huther, Co-Director of Advancement

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Alexander is currently a 4th year medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) and will be applying to ophthalmology residency this upcoming year. Native to Germany, Alexander completed his bachelor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He also worked as a clinical research coordinator in a retina clinic in California, working on a multitude of industry-sponsored clinical trials. In his free time, Alexander manages a student-run ophthalmology clinic in the greater Boston area to provide services to an underserved community. 

Contact Alexander at ahuther@action4education.org

Justin Soffer, Co-Director of Advancement

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Justin is currently a 4th year medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) and will be applying to otolaryngology residency this upcoming year. He finished his B.S in Neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2017. He then went on to work as an EMT for a Los Angeles 911 ambulance service before matriculating at TUSM. Justin plans to devote much of his future clinical practice to providing care to underprivileged patients in lower and middle-income countries of Latin America. 

Contact Justin at jsoffer@action4education.org

Barbara Batista, Director of Special Education

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Barbara is currently applying to receive her master's in genetic counseling. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a major in Biomedical sciences. She was born in Brazil and is also fluent in Portuguese. With an interest in genetics and global health, she hopes to bring this skillset to her work in Honduras. At AcE, she is responsible for developing programs designed to help children who suffer from developmental disabilities and their families connect to services such as physical therapy and professional counseling. Barbara also serves as our social media coordinator.

Stefania Khoda, Director of Educational Research

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Stefania received her master's degree in Science Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2016, majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Biological Psychology. Stefania is a member of Psi Chi Honors Society and the Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu. Stefania's main area of focus is on improving access to high-quality education in underserved communities. At AcE, Stefania is responsible for designing and implementing upcoming educational service trips.

Carolyn Waite, Secretary

Carolyn "Cally" Waite is a Class of 2018 graduate at the College of the Holy Cross. She majored in chemistry and plans to further her education in medicine after graduation, with the hopes of becoming a physician’s assistant in the future. She uses her interests in the medical field to volunteer at UMass Medical Center in the surgical waiting room. At AcE, Cally is responsible for coordinating various nonprofit documents and forms related to the operations of AcE.

Kevin Marzotto, Fundraising Coordinator

Kevin Marzotto is a Class of 2018 graduate from the College of the Holy Cross, where he majored in Chemistry. After college, Kevin plans to go to medical school to become a surgeon and hopes to join Doctors without Boarders after he graduates. He currently volunteers at UMass Memorial Hospital and the American Cancer Society's Hope lodge where he comforts patients with cancer. At AcE, Kevin organizes events to help fundraise for our Public School in San Pedro Sula so we can offer scholarships and English classes to our students there.

Brian Carvalho, Outreach Coordinator

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Brian graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2020, majoring in Chemistry with a Biochemistry concentration. He is planning on attending medical school, and continues to work as an EMT and perform research at Hartford Hospital in his gap year. Brian seeks to use his fluency in Portuguese and Spanish to connect with and care for underserved communities.

If you're interested in joining our team, please contact us at info@action4education.org