Research Assistants

Dulce Boza

Dulce Boza received her BA in Political Science and Latin American Studies from the University of Florida as well as her MA in International Studies from the University of Miami. She carries more than 10 years’ experience as a Latin American Studies expert and has worked in over 9 countries. Prior to her arrival at the Metropolitan Center, Boza brings five years of experience in Latin American human and institutional capacity development, organizational effectiveness, workforce development, country and project management. She implemented and developed programs in disaster resiliency, humanitarian efforts, human rights advocacy, and strengthening civil society. She has forged strong partnerships and networks with ministries, NGOs, FBOs, donors and multinational agencies. Boza is now pursuing a PhD in International Relations at FIU. Her major sub-fields are security, foreign policy and the relationship of religion and International Relations.

Kaila Williams

Kaila Williams holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Jacksonville University. Before joining the Metropolitan Center, she worked for a statewide nonprofit agency focusing on financial growth, program development and implementation, and local federal advocacy initiatives. Currently Kaila is pursuing a PhD in Public Affairs from Florida International University. Her research interests include community development, public policy and program analysis and evaluation, and neighborhood and community responses to vulnerable populations such as elder adults, individuals with disabilities, and those in extreme poverty.

Christopher Torres

Christopher Torres received his BS in Criminal Justice from Florida International University. Prior to joining the Metropolitan Center, Christopher worked in the finance industry for six years. Within the private sector, his responsibilities ranged from basic accounting to geospatial analyses. Christopher is currently pursuing a Ph.D in International Crime and Justice at Florida International University and will receive his MS en route. Christopher specializes in the application of Geographic Information Systems in his research. His research interests include youth violence & bullying, geospatial crime analysis, environmental criminology, crime prevention through environmental design, emergency management, fraud victimization, and quantitative research design.

Melisa Zozaya

Melisa Zozaya is a 3rd year PhD student in International Crime and Justice, also working on a Community Development Certificate. She currently holds a masters in Criminal Justice from Florida International University and a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the same university. Her research interests include community development and crime, comparative criminal justice, crime and place, and environmental criminology.