Meet The Team That Makes Things Happen

Ariel Rojas, MS, MA

Founder

Ariel founded Transdiaspora Network in 2007. As an interdisciplinary cultural entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in the fields of mental health, HIV/AIDS, counseling and youth development, Ariel has in-depth knowledge of the Caribbean and Latino communities in the New York metropolitan area and their cultural nuances. He emigrated from Havana, Cuba, to the United States in 2000 as the first young Cuban researcher to be unanimously awarded Vassar College's Latin American Culture Fellowship, in the Hispanic Studies Department. Ariel holds a Masters degree in Sociocultural Anthropology from Columbia University, and a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Social Psychology from the University of Havana. He has earned Master-level credits at Columbia University with a concentration in Social Enterprise Management, where he presented an independent research entitled "Cross-cultural Study of HIV/AIDS and Preventive Strategies." For his leadership, his innovative and entrepreneurial effort, and his social commitment to raise HIV/AIDS awareness, Ariel is the recipient of the New York State Department of Health Commissioner's Distinguished Service Award provided by the AIDS Institute. Publication: Article "Enabling Culture for Effective Responses to HIV/AIDS" (Real Life Times Newspaper, January Issue, 2014).


Dr. Anil Kabrawala, M.D.

Senior Consultant Physician

Anil earned a degree in Neuroscience at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, with a focus in health sciences. There, he was able to build community through various fundraisers and events. After college, he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a physician. He enrolled at St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies. In Grenada, he continued to reach out into the community by arranging several health fairs in order to provide basic preventative medicine and medical screening to the local citizens. He also provided care and assistance to the abused and neglected children of two orphanages in Grenada. After medical school, he enrolled into a residency training program in Internal Medicine at Stony Brook University Hospital in Long Island, NY. He has traveled widely throughout Europe and Asia, and one day plans to open up free health care clinics around the world. He is now a GI Fellow at SUNY Downstate, Brooklyn, one of the nation's leading urban medical centers. From the moment he joined our team, Dr. Kabrawala has participated in community health fairs, has co-authored several articles and has refined TDN health promotion model.


Jonathan Zacks

IT & Digital Strategist

Jonathan received his BA in Computer Sciences from Vassar College in 2002 and has over a decade of experience in the IT field as a tech, programmer, web designer and A/V consultant. He oversees the organization’s IT and digital procedures, and puts out all technology fires to increase the visibility of our work. He divides his time between helping Transdiaspora Network and running Mac Help NYC, where he brought together a network of like-minded consultants to form his IT solutions team. Together, they provide full service technology consulting to the greater New York City area. During his time with the organization, Jonathan has been invited to career events at local high schools, where he empowers students to be more proactive in the use of technology as a tool to positively impact their life and their own communities.


Maria Cristina Coello

Cross-cultural Youth Exchange Fellow

Maria is a graduate student at The New School in New York City in which she is pursuing a Master of Sciences in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management with a specialization in policy. She has a strong passion towards the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society which is what led her to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Public Service with a minor in Economics and Sociology at St. John’s University in New York City. Since 2016, Maria has been a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society and a member of the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement. Since then, she has been an advocate of sexual, health and environmental education among youth as she believes that through the empowerment and development of youth one can achieve a prosperous and sustainable society.