Team Members - 2014-2015

From left to right: Owen Cortner (IAD student), Ryen Morey, Laura Schwartz, Belinda Richardson (IAD student), Molly Liepnieks, Carolina Vicario, Rebeccah Landman, Sam Lawton, Laura Budd, Hannah MacDonald, Ashley Felhofer (Undergraduate), Lauren Michaels, Karen Sorenson - (All unspecified students are DVM candidates)

Karen Sorenson

Karen Sorenson

I am a third year veterinary student with a passion for the One Health. One of my favorite aspects of our project is its interdisciplinary nature. In addition to working with and learning from other veterinary students and faculty, we also collaborate closely with our colleagues in the medical school, the International Agricultural Development group and various other specialties. This makes for wonderful opportunities to exchange ideas and elevate the quality of our work. The network of support that we maintain here in Davis is mirrored in Sabana Grande, where we work closely with skilled community members who contribute a vast knowledge of animal and human health, agriculture and conservation.

My experiences so far on this project have vastly improved the quality of my education, my professional skills and my level of awareness of One Health concerns in the global arena. I look forward to helping this project progress and seeing where it goes next.

Carolina Vicario

Carolina Vicario

In my third year of veterinary school, I have found myself focusing my time and passion on an approach that a few years ago I didn’t even know existed- One Health! Analyzing the overlap of human, animal and environmental health is fundamental to my contributions to our project. We are continuing our partnership with the community of Sabana Grande to identify and prioritize the health needs of cattle and chicken (valuable sources of food and family income). As one of the Project Directors, I am continuously gaining project management and communication skills that I will carry with me beyond graduation. Working closely on this team has brought me my best friends in vet school, and I am so thankful for the unique responsibilities and opportunities we have sought in this project.

About me: I studied biology at Claremont McKenna College, and completed my senior thesis research in neuroscience. In the past, working in a student-run (human) free clinic, and a (veterinary) small animal hospital in southern California were both integral in my decision to study medicine. Today, our multidisciplinary project in Nicaragua is awakening my interest in global health. I was raised in a bicultural U.S.-Argentine household, and I appreciate the value of immersion in cultures different than my own. Sabana Grande, a beautiful, rural town in Nicaragua hosts unique opportunities for both professional and personal growth. I am excited to continue developing this project in conjunction with my inspirational classmates and partners in Nicaragua!

Laura Budd

Laura Budd

I am a second year veterinary student with a deep desire to improve animal health as well as human health and livelihoods. I am particularly intrigued with the unique role veterinarians can play at this interface.The interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health was a concept revealed to me during some of my international experiences prior to vet school, but it wasn’t until I was applying to vet school that I heard that idea given the name ‘One Health’. The One Health Nicaragua project has been such a wonderful opportunity to engage with students across disciplines and learn together how to incorporate the philosophy of One Health into international development and our own educations.

About me: I grew up in Vermont and graduated from Middlebury College. I studied biology in college, with a particular focus on ecology and conservation biology. I have worked on numerous ecology research projects from islands in the Gulf of Maine to Kruger National Park in South Africa. After college I worked for a year in a region of Kenya where people, their livestock, and wildlife interacted on a daily basis and were often competing for limited resources. It became very apparent to me that the health all three populations are be intertwined. My desire to solve problems at this interface had led me to the Students for One Health club at UC Davis and this Nicaragua project.

Sam Lawton

Sam Lawton

I am very excited to be part of the 2014-2015 Nicaragua team! Currently in my second year of veterinary school, I am still eagerly exploring all aspects of veterinary medicine, but my experiences with One Health Nicaragua have convinced me that conservation medicine or global health are where I want to focus my future efforts. During my undergraduate degree I studied global health and had the opportunity to travel to Belize. While in Belize I stayed in two remote villages where I realized the importance of the local domestic and wild animals to the survival of people. Additionally, the land itself was invaluable as both farming and foraging land. I began to realize that human health is dependent on animal and environmental health and I decided I wanted to address these areas in international development. I then began to study conservation biology and eventually veterinary medicine, while still trying to grow my understanding of the human needs that must be met during the design of land or animal conservation programs. Being involved with the One Health Nicaragua project allows me to work with students from other disciplines that are more knowledgeable about human behavior and environmental science than I, and I enjoy learning from my peers throughout this experience.

I am honored to be part of the SOH Nicaragua project because of its focus on evidence-based activities, local partnership, and sustainability. I am eager to continue working with the local health workers to develop a multispecies-focused, preventative health strategy based on local resources and capabilities and to see One Health strategies in action.

Abigail Fosdick

Abigail Fosdick

I am a first year veterinary student and I am very excited to be joining the One Health Nicaragua project this year. Prior to veterinary school, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry where I was involved with a project that used spontaneously occurring cancers in dogs as a model for human disease. Although this drug failed in human clinical trials, my company was able to license the drug to our veterinary partners who are currently developing the drug for animal cancers. This got me thinking about all the overlaps between animal and human health and opened my eyes to some of the benefits that can come when you consider these. So when I got to veterinary school, I was incredibly excited to learn about one One Health!

The interdisciplinary, evidence based approach of One Health seems to be an ideal platform to address the animal, human and environmental challenges many communities are currently facing. I am very excited to get to know the dedicated students, faculty and community members that have worked so hard to make an impact in this community!

Kayla Carlson

Kayla Carlson

This is my first and only year in the Masters of Public Health program here at Davis. Since I was a teenager I have been passionate about global health but I have had trouble deciding on a specific health aspect to focus on. It wasn’t until recently, when I went to an information session that I had even heard of One Health. The One Health approach incorporates every aspect of health that I love: humans, animals and the environment!

I was initially attracted to this project because Central America has a special place in my heart. I spent almost a year in Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua as an undergrad while getting my Bachelor’s in Spanish with a focus on Latin American Studies. I also received my Bachelor’s degree in Community Health Sciences from the University of Nevada Reno. I’m looking forward to learning more about the health needs and disparities of Sabana Grande as well as sustainability.

Laura Schwartz

Laura Schwartz

I was excited to join this project in my 2012 for two reasons. First, I loved the idea of being part of something novel and dynamic. Second, the ethical stance of this project resonated with me, using an approach to international development that focuses on community-identified problems and sustainable solutions. Being a part of this project and traveling to Sabana Grande has been a both a gift of perspective and personal growth, allowing me to reach beyond comfort zones and think outside the box. The most exciting part has been developing a true partnership with students from other disciplines, and establishing lifelong friendships with the incredibly passionate and intelligent members of this team.

Now in my third year on this project, I have taken a "back seat" roll, but am thrilled by the progress that has been made, and excited about the outlook and the ever-changing landscape of a student-run One Health project.

My current focus in school is livestock, with a specific interest in cattle. I hope to practice mixed animal medicine when I graduate.

Rebeccah Landman

Rebeccah Landman

I am a 3rd year veterinary student at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and excited to be participating in my third year on the project. My path to veterinary medicine was not direct; however, my previous professional and academic pursuits have been extremely valuable, especially in influencing the direction I envision for my veterinary career and developing my passion for the One Health initiative.

As an undergraduate at the University of California, San Diego, I began with veterinarian aspirations and followed a pre-veterinary curriculum. However, with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in Biology, ultimately, I chose to explore my interests in the field of archaeology. After graduation, I received a Master of Science degree from University College London’s Institute of Archaeology and, for six years, worked as an archaeologist, in both an academic setting and the corporate world. As an archaeologist, I have excavated Bronze Age foundries near the ruins of Petra, studied ancient fortresses hidden in the Andes of Ecuador, and surveyed miles of beautifully desolate Californian landscape for traces of Native American culture. These pursuits have taken me on an incredible journey around the world and through our common past. It is apparent to me that the partnership between people, domestic animals, and the environment that emerged over 10,000 years ago continues as an important theme of our human experience. I feel called to a role acknowledging the inextricable link between human health, animal welfare, and ecological conservation.

I am particularly passionate about working in rural settings where quality preventative care plays an integral role in both human and animal welfare. I believe my experiences with this project are extremely valuable for my development not only as veterinary professional but also as an individual within our increasing global community. The project is a unique opportunity to gain experience practicing rural veterinary medicine as well as the opportunity to share in a truly collaborative experience and interdisciplinary project emphasizing cultural awareness and community-level sustainability.

Sarah Tirrell

Sarah Tirrell

I am a first year veterinary student with an interest in international animal health. I am still deciding whether to focus on small or large animals, but I am eager to incorporate One Health ideals into whatever I choose. I became interested in the Nicaragua Project because of its emphasis on community-based health interventions and the opportunity to improve animal health abroad. My goal is to practice veterinary medicine in Thailand, and I am excited to learn about the challenges of implementing One Health ideals in a foreign country.

I am also looking forward to working with and learning from colleagues in many different disciplines, including public health, human medicine, and agricultural development. I can’t wait to see where this project takes me and how I can contribute to its continuing growth.