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My name is Melanie Izard. I graduated American University in 2018 with a BA in International Studies, a thematic concentration in Environmental Sustainability and Global Health, a regional concentration in Latin America, and a minor in Spanish and Latin American Studies. I studied the political side of conservation. For my undergraduate capstone project, I researched the impact of environmental disaster policies on persons with disabilities. I also attended the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, where I learned from local experts about the extensive measures Costa Rica has taken to protect its biodiversity. Before entering the MCM program, I worked full-time as a legal secretary at a law firm in Buffalo, NY and volunteered on the weekends at a wildlife center, which solidified my desire to pursue conservation medicine as a career. I was interested in the MCM program due to the One Health approach and the focus on interdisciplinary learning. I’m most drawn to organizations that work with endangered species and that help preserve biodiversity, and hope to one day contribute to these organizations. I enjoy reading, painting, hiking, and finding new vegan recipes to try.