Alex Zayas, Ph.D. is a 2023 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Alex Zayas at his Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Lemual Watson, Committee Chair, Dr. Beth Mabry, Committee Member, Dr. Spencer Platt, Committee Member.

Dissertation Committee

  • Lemuel Watson, Ed.D., Committee Chair
  • Beth Mabry, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Spencer Platt, Ph.D., Committee Member


leadership, masculinity, trauma, motivation, autoethnography, self-authorship theory, childhood violence, sexual abuse, trauma informed leadership, Latino culture

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The following autoethnographic dissertation examines my personal experiences of trauma, abuse, and violence. Drawing on journals, memories, and artifacts from my life, I use self-reflection to illustrate the impacts of trauma on my childhood and adulthood. My traumatic experiences of sexual abuse, childhood violence, and emotional abuse are situated within broader sociocultural contexts of masculinity, Hispanic culture, and social norms. This study illuminates possibilities for healing and transformation for myself and others with shared traumatic backgrounds. It calls for trauma-informed education, masculinity, and resiliency. Evocatively sharing my traumatic life events provides an accessible window into often silenced experiences, bearing witness to injustice while offering empathy, connection, and hope. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center (


Alex Zayas

ORCID: #0009-0006-3440-3141

Alex Zayas is a business owner focused on helping individuals reach their fullest potential. From a traumatic childhood, Alex coaches people to help deal with their past through coaching. Alex has built multiple successful organizations, from the healthcare field to the entertainment field. Alex hopes to help as many people as possible by coaching or providing employment. Alex lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, and enjoys fitness, writing, philosophy, and art when not working or coaching.