Meet the Staff

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David Merson    617.287.5874

David S. Merson joined the program in March 2016 bringing a wealth of program management experience, deep familiarity with Veterans issues and experience which intersects high education and career development. A US Navy Veteran, David holds a law degree from Cornell Law School, BA from Brown University in History & Biomedical Ethics, and has completed his graduate coursework in a Masters in Counseling from Rhode Island College.

Arriving from Suffolk University's Office of Professional & Career Development, David has also worked at Northeastern University as an Instructor and Advisor, at Rhode Island College's Veterans Resource Center as well as the Rhode Island Board of high Education as a Coordinator for Veterans Affairs.

As a practicing Attorney, David was a Partner in a two immigration law firms for over 10 years and also worked for the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service in Boston as a Trial Attorney. Prior to that, he served as a Navy Judge Advocate on active duty for 3 years and 2 years as a reserve attorney.  He completed his service having achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Retention Advisor

Linda Mitchell   617.287.5871

Linda, the daughter of a Navy veteran, is an Army veteran who served in the signal corps.  She attended the Veterans Upward Bound Program in the summer of 1998 and has been with the program, in many capacities, ever since.  While working for the program, she has received degree in psychology and a certificate in substance abuse counseling from the University of Massachusetts.  As the Retention Advisor she loves working with veterans, helping them to achieve their full potential. While not working, she spends some of her time gardening and watching Independent Films.

Retention Advisor

Nancy Slaughter   617.287.5870

Nancy has a Masters in Education and has experience working in higher education both domestically and internationally.  She has taught developmental reading, writing and math classes and has worked closely with students in support and retention.

Administrative Assistant

Eileen Dranetz     617.287.5872

Eileen Dranetz joined the Veterans Upward Bound Program as Administrative Assistant in October 2012.  She has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Gwynedd-Mercy University. Eileen has dedicated her life to public service working for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for 24 years both at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Department of Environmental Protection.  Eileen enjoys photography, computers, and Star Trek in her spare time.

Departmental Assistant

Gabriel Sanchez    617.287.5873

Gabriel joined the program in October of 2015.  He is an Army veteran, serving in Fort Leavenworth, KS.  After his discharge, he went on to work at a community college as a Veterans Representative while graduating from Bunker Hill Community College and UMass Boston with a BA in Philosophy.  He is currently working on a graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling with licensure and specializes in college advising and veterans education benefits.