Monica is from Murfreesboro, TN and has a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies and a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Tennessee. She is currently pursuing a master’s in public health in the Global Health and Health Disparities at CSU.
In 2004 she spent a semester in Costa Rica completing her Hispanic Studies major. While there, she spent time traveling through Nicaragua and became inspired to aid disparate populations after witnessing the socioeconomic extremes in the country. She was also able to work with wildlife conservation in the cloud forests of Costa Rica as well as help with leatherback sea turtle protection at the Pacuare Reserve.
During vet school, she participated in many community outreach initiatives, one in particular called RUFUS which aimed toward educating children on recognizing aggressive behavior in dogs and proper protocol if approached by an aggressive animal. She also helped co-found the Tennessee chapter of Veterinarians as One in Culture and Ethnicity (VOICE) whose goals were to make the veterinary profession more diverse through promotion of the profession in minority groups as well as hosting presentations of veterinarians of the international community so they may provide a global perspective in animal health.
Her current interests lie in cultural perceptions of the human/animal bond and zoonotic disease. Her long term career goals include working with international organizations on providing appropriate veterinary health interventions dependent on cultural and demographic data. She has a strong interest in working in Central America, particularly Nicaragua.