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This Year’s Michigan Ross ROMBA Fellows Are Changemakers in LGBTQ+ Rights Advocacy and in Closing the Education Gap for Underserved Communities


Passionate advocates for the LGTBQ+ community and proven leaders in efforts to create a more equitable world, Sasha Rodriguez Kolodkin, MBA/MS ’24, and Carlos Delfino Sotelo, MBA ’24, have earned the distinction as the 2022 recipients of the Reaching Out MBA LGBT+ Fellowship from the Ross School of Business.

Since 2016, the Michigan Ross Full-Time MBA Program has selected two fellows through its membership in Reaching Out MBA as part of its efforts to attract a more diverse student cohort. ROMBA’s mission is to increase the influence of the LGBTQ+ community in business by educating, inspiring, and connecting MBA students and alumni. The organization offers fellows professional development and networking events during their time in business school and beyond.

Read on to learn more about the two newest Michigan Ross ROMBA Fellows and how they plan to use their time and talents to make a positive impact on the Ross community, business world, and beyond. 

Sasha Rodriguez Kolodkin

Rodriguez Kolodkin has been a devoted advocate for the LGBTQ+ community for over ten years, serving as a student advocate, board member, and president of the Purchase College, State University of New York’s LGBT Student Union. Working as a policy analyst and coordinator for the New York Transgender Advocacy Group, Rodriguez Kolodkin helped successfully drive the campaign for the 2019 Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act in New York and expanded a ban on conversion therapy for minors. This experience made it clear to her that momentous things are possible when a diverse group of stakeholders are empowered to work in harmony. 

Along with pursuing her MBA at Michigan Ross, Rodriguez Kolodkin is exploring new applications of technology to solve some of the world’s most complex social problems as a dual-degree student in the University of Michigan’s School of Information. At Ross, Rodriguez Kolodkin is also a member of the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management and a Forté Foundation fellow.

Why were you interested in the ROMBA Fellowship?

I came out as trans in 2011. That was years before issues afflicting members of this community had the same level of visibility — and political contention — as they do today. It’s been an honor to be a small part of the monumental change we’ve experienced in the last decade, first as a student activist, and later a policy advocate. This progress, however, remains extremely precarious. I applied for the ROMBA fellowship because the presence of people like me in public life is currently the subject of immense controversy. As MBA students and future business leaders, we are uniquely positioned to positively influence the direction of our society. We have an obligation to ensure this progress is not swept away; I’m looking forward to leveraging the ROMBA network to help do my part.

What aspect of being a ROMBA Fellow at Michigan Ross are you most excited about?

I’m extremely excited to represent not just the LGBTQ+ community, but all of my communities — Ross’s incredible 2024 cohort and my fellow students at the School of Information. Disruptive tech innovators and civil rights advocates are not usually found in the same programs; at Ross, you can be both at once. I want to make it clear to any young trans professional considering an MBA, or any prospective student: you can be your whole self here, but you can do a lot of other things, too.

How did the ROMBA Fellowship and other ways to get involved at Ross, as well as the Ross community, impact your decision to pursue your MBA here?

I didn’t think much about the opportunity to engage with the LGBTQ+ community when I first decided to pursue a master’s degree. As a dual-degree student studying human-computer interaction alongside my MBA, my interest has always been in building new things: New products, new ventures, new relationships. However, the dialog surrounding the state of LGBTQ+ rights has changed in a concerning way, and when I found out about the amazing opportunities to make an impact that ROMBA had to offer, I knew I had to be involved. I’d be here either way, but it’s great to be a part of something so fantastic.

Carlos Delfino Sotelo

Sotelo is a first-generation immigrant and college student who has focused his career on closing the higher education attainment gap for underrepresented and underinvested communities. Throughout his time at Princeton University, he served as a board member of the Latinos y Amigos organization and was the community relations chair for the Princeton DREAM team, helping to advocate for and connect the local immigrant population to resources. Sotelo has volunteered with Bunnies on the Bayou to help raise $175,000 for Houston's nonprofits that provide critical outreach, health care, and education services to the LGBTQ+ community. During his time working throughout Texas school systems, Sotelo focused on providing additional support to the Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities through college and career readiness initiatives and increasing access by developing virtual year-round programming. Most recently, Sotelo helped plan the Houston Independent School District’s first-ever Pride Summit for students, caretakers, and staff this year. 

At Michigan Ross, Sotelo is a member of Management Leadership of Tomorrow and the LunaCap Foundation, as well as a Dean's Impact Scholar. He looks forward to pursuing experiences at Ross that will equip him to be a leader that drives educational equity through data, technology, and policy.  

Why were you interested in the ROMBA Fellowship?

In building support for minority communities to access opportunities for reaching their potential across my career in education and volunteer work, I realized the importance of first nurturing spaces for students and people to feel safe and seen. My intersectional identity compels me to drive inclusion and equity for all my communities. The ROMBA Fellowship enables me to continue on this journey to build collaborations and support systems that advance all members of our LGBTQ+ community. 

What aspect of being a ROMBA Fellow at Michigan Ross are you most excited about?

When I thought of the impact that my younger self wanted to make, an MBA was not part of the plan. I’m most excited to work with my Out For Business family to help prospective business school applicants unlock the possibilities of how an MBA at Ross can facilitate their goals for making a positive impact in business and society. 

How did the ROMBA Fellowship and other ways to get involved at Ross, as well as the Ross community, impact your decision to pursue your MBA here?

The welcoming and supportive embrace from current and past Out For Business members and ROMBA fellows at Ross inspired me to continue in their footsteps to advocate and shape a more inclusive business school community. Beyond the many opportunities to continue exploring my interest in social impact and tech, the level that Ross students invest in their community and future Ross students confirmed my decision to envision Michigan as my future home.

Learn more about diversity at Michigan Ross 

Learn more about the Michigan Ross Full-Time MBA Program