Dr. Shepard-Torres is a university-trained social scientist with almost two decades’ experience studying social conditions and disenfranchised peoples in Latin America with particular emphasis in the Andean Community (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru). With a decade of field research in Ecuador, he has years of experience interviewing Ecuadorians in marginalized communities and is skilled in using traditional and mixed methods techniques. In addition to his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, He has also earned master’s degrees in Anthropology and Latin American Studies, and certificates of graduate study in Human Rights and Gender & Sexuality Studies. In various roles including professor (of Anthropology, Latin American Studies, and Social Justice), HIV-AIDS case manager and NGO outreach worker, he has worked with underrepresented and/or marginalized populations both locally and abroad, conducting qualitative research and community outreach at the local and international levels. In addition to his work as a cultural anthropologist and scholar, his interest in culturally competent work within educational, governmental, and non-governmental organizations comes with connections to both domestic and international NGOs and training in motivational interviewing and behavioral risk assessment. He is particularly adept in issues and awareness surrounding the commercial sex industry, child adoptions, and LGBTQ issues in Latin America.